Winter 2016 news and updates
from BIDMC's Internal Medicine Residency Program.
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Residency Program Update: Winter 2016

It is hard to believe we just completed another intern applicant interview season, with the last of our 20 interview days in January. The recruitment process is emblematic of the cooperation and commitment that makes our program one of the best in the country. Twenty-seven faculty members on our intern application review committee helped review a record number of applications (almost 3,500 total with 2,200 of them from the U.S.). Over 80 faculty conducted hundreds of interviews to help us select the very best future interns. It has been particularly gratifying to hear from so many of you, our alumni, as you speak with pride about BIDMC and advocate for students you have worked with at your home institutions. All of you—our alumni, faculty, residents, and staff—are such wonderful ambassadors for BIDMC and make our program truly great. Thank you!

While Match Day is a high point at the beginning of residency, Fellowship Match Day represents another major milestone for many of our residents. We are thrilled to report that our residents had another spectacular match—30 out of 37 residents matched at their first choice and everyone was near the top of their list. We are happy for the residents and also proud to work with such a wonderful group of faculty colleagues who helped them achieve their goals. The match list is below—be sure to look out for these future BIDMC alumni if/when they arrive at your medical center. 

Finally, we want to hear from you. Please email us what you are up to and your memories of your time at BIDMC.

Warm Regards,

Chris Smith, MD (1999) - Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Eileen Reynolds, MD - Vice Chair for Education, Medicine
Mark Zeidel, MD - Chair, Medicine

Fellowship Match: A Great Success  

As noted above, we had an exceptional match this year. The following list, organized by specialty, includes the resident’s name and program where he/she matched. Congratulations!

John Hsi-en Ho, Allergy, Icahn - Mt. Sinai
Lauren Glassmoyer, Cardiology, UCSD
Angela Higgins, Cardiology, Yale
Carol Lai, Cardiology, Baylor/Texas Heart Institute
David Lam, Cardiology, University of Washington
Andrew Locke, Cardiology, BIDMC
Roy Sriwattanakomen, Cardiology, University of Pittsburgh
Mark Tuttle, Cardiology, BIDMC
Katherine Joyce, Endocrinology, Temple
Megan Ritter, Endocrinology, BIDMC
Sushrut Jangi, GI, BWH
Saikiran Kilaru, GI, NYU
Manida Wungjiranirun, GI, Brown
Leah Biller, Hem/Onc, BIDMC
Brian Carney, Hem/Onc, BIDMC
Katherine Clifton, Hem/Onc, MD Anderson
Jennifer Faig, Hem/Onc, BIDMC
Daniel Roberts, Hem/Onc, BIDMC
Alok Tewari, Hem/Onc, DFCI/MGH
Gabriel Cohen, ID, Icahn - Mt. Sinai
Monica Fung, ID, UCSF
Colleen Kershaw, ID, BIDMC
Jessica Meisner, ID, University of Pennsylvania
Alaina Ritter, ID, MGH/BWH
Rebecca Frazier, Nephrology, Northwestern
Ian McCoy, Nephrology, Stanford
Shimontini Mitra, Nephrology, BIDMC
Patrick Reeves, Nephrology, MGH/BWH
Erika Runge, Nephrology, BIDMC
Avraham Cooper, Pulmonary/Critical Care, Ohio State University
Tristan Kooistra, Pulmonary/Critical Care, BIDMC/MGH
Sharukh Lokhandwala, Pulmonary/Critical Care, University of Washington
Elliot Naidus, Pulmonary/Critical Care, UCSF
Erin Nuzzo, Pulmonary/Critical Care, University of Pittsburgh
Alexandra Rose, Pulmonary/Critical Care, UCSD
Sarah Chen, Rheumatology, BWH
Sheeja Thomas, Sleep Medicine, BIDMC

A Week on Mount Desert Island

By Jason Freed, MD
In August 2015, 16 of our junior and senior residents headed north to the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory for a one-week basic science immersion experience in comparative physiology. Now in its eighth year running, the course was first spearheaded by BIDMC graduate and current hospitalist Shani Herzig, MD, (2007 (CMR 08-09)) and Medicine Chair Mark Zeidel, MD. The course is comprised of multiple modules including water metabolism, NaCl excretion, coagulation, and cardiovascular physiology—each with basic science experiments utilizing aquatic species and accompanied by clinical correlation discussions. Beyond the laboratory experience, residents are encouraged to enjoy all the Maine coastline has to offer including, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and fishing. The week ends with a residency lobster bake. 
Every group explores new frontiers based upon their own scientific curiosity. This year the hematology group became the first scientists to do platelet function testing on shark blood. They then compared how COX inhibition differentially affected human and shark platelet function. Another group cloned parts of the clotting cascade from hagfish and found that despite 200 million years of evolution, humans and hagfish clotting proteins differ only by a few amino acids.
Due to the success of the resident course, this year for the first time a second course was run for hospitalists from around the country with the goal of bringing practical physiology into the wards. BIDMC chief resident Andy Hale, MD, and faculty member Bill Aird, MD, developed a new module where participants studied what factors affect the ESR and CRP.

Primary Care Track Enhanced

By Rebecca Glassman, MD 
The primary care track has taken on a new life with a separate slot in the match for four interns, and a remodeled schedule for second and third years of residency. Junior and senior residents now participate in six continuous months in the ambulatory setting. This unique scheduling system allows residents to have increased time in their continuity clinics, to explore subspecialty clinics in order to hone skills, to practice and learn teaching and leadership skills, and to participate in practice improvement projects. 

Our current junior residents Emmanuel Mensah, MD, (shown above), Lucy Schulson, MD, and Josephine Ncho, MD, presented their work on improving the experience for patients with limited English proficiency at a recent General Medicine Grand Rounds. After spending two weeks traveling to local clinics to learn about their resources for such patients, the residents explored the current state within Healthcare Associates (HCA), and identified potential areas of change. They continue to meet with practice leadership on how to implement their proposal.

In addition, our current senior residents Kristi Larned, MD, and Jake Decker, MD, spent the semester investigating patient presentations to the ER, in order to determine what factors lead patients to go to the ER rather than directly to HCA. Their findings will be used to determine effective outreach tools to patients, in hopes of diverting unnecessary ER visits and establishing HCA as our patients’ medical home. Watch a video about their experience here.

These residents also participated in a week-long Community Health Elective, coordinated by alumna Gia Leddy, MD, (year). They traveled to community-based practices, learned more about the social determinants of health, and explored what it means to be an advocate for our patients. We are confident that these changes will help the program continue to engage residents in primary care and arm them with the tools to become effective clinician educators and primary care leaders.

Photo above: Primary care track resident Emmanuel Mensah, MD, with fellow junior resident Olivia Severdija, MD.

Housestaff Discuss Mortal Matters

This fall, the housestaff gathered to receive a special gift from Michael Epstein, MD, BIDMC’s former COO and Chair of the Department of Neonatology, and his wife Susan Gilbert Epstein. They donated copies of Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” to every member of the housestaff. And they have generously committed to doing this every year because, as Dr. Epstein noted during the lunchtime session, “Residents have a unique opportunity to see the full spectrum of settings in which people face decisions about end-of-life care.” Referencing “Being Mortal,” he emphasized the importance of providing care that “aims to serve the purposes of life,” as defined by the individual—rather than by what is technically/medically possible.

The housestaff then heard from Lauge Sokol-Hessner, MD, a BIDMC hospitalist who is heading the medical center’s Conversation Ready initiative on advance care planning. Residents were each given the BIDMC Proxy packet and were asked to complete the Proxy form themselves and then talk with their peers about the process. The goal, as Dr. Sokol-Hessner noted, was to “do what we’re asking our patients to do, so we can more knowledgeably and compassionately address possible challenges they may face in selecting a Proxy and speaking with that person—and with us—about what matters most to them.” According to Dr. Chris Smith, “Many members of the housestaff found this to be a particularly effective way to think about this important dimension of care, enabling us to better engage our patients in these discussions.”   

Photo above (from left to right): Chris Smith, MD, Susan Gilbert Epstein, Michael Epstein, MD, Lauge Sokol-Hessner, MD, Anita Vanka, MD, and Amy Ship, MD.

Alumni Spotlights

Rich Schwartzstein, MD

Over three decades at BI and BIDMC, Dr. Schwartzstein (1982, CMR 1984) has worn many hats. His current titles include Vice President for Education at BIDMC, Faculty Associate Dean for Medical Education at HMS, and Executive Director of the Shapiro Institute for Education and Research. He’s also the Associate Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at BIDMC where he directs one of only two national centers for the study and treatment of dyspnea.
Watch our NEW Alumni Spotlight video of Dr. Schwartzstein now.

Beth Ann Yakes, MD

Dr. Beth Ann Yakes (2004, CMR 2005) completed her internship and residency at BIDMC and then served as Primary Care Chief Resident. Dr. Yakes (formerly Sastre) then returned to her roots in the South, relocating to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she serves as Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. She  also provides outpatient care in primary care clinics, attends on the general medicine ward teams, and precepts residents in continuity clinic. Dr. Yakes has created numerous workshops and didactic curricula aimed at teaching outpatient medicine and quality improvement. 

Within the medical school, she helped found and develop Vanderbilt’s Learning Communities focused on teaching, mentoring, and advising. As a College Mentor, she has served as an advisor to Vanderbilt medical students, developing programming to enhance medical student wellness as well as teach professionalism and metacognition skills. 

Dr. Yakes has also focused on student and resident remediation, designing a number of workshops and standardized approaches to support learners through the improvement process. Residency Program Director, Chris Smith, MD, reflects: “Beth Ann’s energy and enthusiasm and her passion for education made her an exceptional resident and chief resident. It is not surprising to see how much success she has had at Vanderbilt given her many talents and her love of mentorship.”

Aaron M. Cypess, MD, PhD

In just a few years, Dr. Aaron Cypess (2003) has built an impressive career as a clinical investigator, currently serving as Acting Chief of the Translational Physiology Section of the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. After completing medical school at Cornell in 2000, Dr. Cypess devoted a year to studying medical ethics and Jewish law in Jerusalem. He then did residency, followed by a fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at BIDMC and Joslin Diabetes Center (JDC). 

In 2006, Dr. Cypess joined the Clinical Investigator Training Program, a masters program based at HMS and MIT that trains physician-scientists in the techniques and processes required for patient-oriented research. His studies utilized PET/CT imaging to describe the metabolic importance of human brown adipose tissue, findings that were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (Visit his NIH lab page to learn more.)  Prior to joining the NIH's intramural research program, he was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at HMS and has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, PNAS USA, and Cell Metabolism

Vice Chair for Education, Eileen Reynolds, MD, notes, “Dr. Cypess has achieved a remarkable amount in a very brief time. He’s as hard-working and intellectually curious a clinical-investigator as they come.”

Read about our residents, fellows and faculty in recent annual reports from the Department of Medicine.
Beyond the Guidelines

Beyond the Guidelines is a new multimedia series from Annals of Internal Medicine that is part of the Department’s Medical Grand Rounds. Each session focuses on care of a patient who "falls between the cracks" in available evidence and for whom the optimal clinical management is unclear. Such situations include those in which there is insufficient evidence to make a recommendation, a patient does not fit criteria mapped out in recommendations, or different organizations provide conflicting recommendations.  Beyond the Guidelines is produced and edited by Annals of Internal Medicine Series Editor Deborah Cotton, MD, MPH; BIDMC Series Editor Risa B. Burns, MD, MPH; and BIDMC Series Assistant Editors Howard Libman, MD, Eileen E. Reynolds, MD, and Gerald W. Smetana, MD.  For more information about Beyond the Guidelines, visit

Join Doximity to stay connected with colleagues and fellow alumni. You may also be asked to rate BIDMC's residency and fellowship programs as part of the U.S. News and World Report survey.

Where Are They Now?
News and updates from alumni

It has been more than 3 months since I started working as a hospitalist at Mount Sinai. I had some anxiety in the beginning but after few days of working, I realized that BIDMC had fully prepared me to work as an academic hospitalist. I really enjoy working alongside a great group of hospitalists in our division but there is a lot I miss about BID. I have certainly come to miss BIDMC’s focus on quality improvement and patient safety as it core mission. I feel like plenty of hospitals in NYC struggle with providing safe and quality care to its patients on daily basis. Now I can attest to how smoothly BIDMC runs its medicine program. - Masih Shinwa, MD (2015)

This is wonderful! I loved catching up! I am currently practicing primary care medicine at a Newton-Wellesley practice in Needham, Newton and Weston and we are actively hiring new PCPs. I would LOVE more BIDMC grads at our practice! -Liza Meyerhardt, MD (2003, CMR 2004)

Thanks for sending [the newsletter]. It's great to see how the program has evolved and continues to prosper.  I finished my residency in '92 although I was really class of '93 (short tracked to work in a lab)… About a year ago I spoke at Tony Hollenberg's clinical research fellowship seminar about careers in drug development and there was a lot of interest. (I'm a drug developer at a biotech.) It might be helpful for residents and alums to hear about other career options that are available outside the traditional practice or academic pathways. I'd be happy to help if needed. Keep up the good work! -Bob Lechleider, MD (1992)

I thoroughly enjoy getting these alumni updates and thought that I would update you as well. I left New England Deaconess Hospital in 1980 after doing both my medical residency and cardiology fellowship at the hospital. Those were some of the best years of my life! After Boston I moved to Texas to work for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and subsequently for the University of Texas in Galveston and Houston. After 34 years, I “semi-retired” in the summer of 2014, but I continue to work part-time for the University of Texas Medical School in Houston as well as doing a number of “projects.” I’d love to hear from “classmates” and have full contact information and details on my website - Michael W. Bungo, MD (1978)

Thanks for developing this program. I have very fond memories of my years at the BI first as a surgical house officer and later as a medical resident. - Marshall Levine, MD (1977)

I spent a terrific year at the BI in 1956-7, and then went on to the Harvard Neurological Unit at the Boston City Hospital with Dr. Denny-Brown for 2 years and then the Mallory Institute in Neuropathology with Dr. Joe Foley. Off to the NIH, for 3 years, and then back to Boston to Tufts NEMC until I finally went to Johns Hopkins as one of the founding members of the Neurology Dept in 1969, where I have been ever since. I founded the Neuromuscular Unit (now named the Daniel B. Drachman Neuromuscular Unit), which is the largest part of the Dept., and I am still full-time at Hopkins as Professor of Neurology & Neuroscience, WW Smith Charitable Trust Professor of Neuroimmunology, and just elected to the National Academy of Medicine… I am married to the former Jephta Piatigorsky, a fabulous metal sculptor, with 3 sons and 5 grandchildren. - Daniel B. Drachman, MD (1957)

Email us your news today!

Residency Program Leadership

Program Director
C. Chris Smith, MD (1999)

Primary Care Program Director
Howard Libman, MD

Education Manager
Ruth Colman

Vice Chair for Education
Eileen Reynolds, MD
Associate Program Directors

Jon Crocker, MD
Grace Huang, MD (2002)
Jake McSparron, MD
Ken Mukamal, MD, MPH
Ben Schlecter, MD (2011)
Anjala Tess, MD (2000)
Anita Vanka, MD (2008)
Julius Yang, MD, PhD (2000)